Give Good Leg, Even If You Don't Like YoursS

Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.

Because my mother is the gift that keeps on giving, I've got serious spider veins on my legs, pretty much down to my knees and in some spots on my shins. It is unattractive; maxi dresses are my friend. Life goes on. But this week it's going to hit 90+ degrees in New York City, and that will actually feel like a billion degrees because Manhattan is an island of concrete and festering garbage. Keeping my legs covered, even with the airiest of dresses, will inevitably feel like I peed my pants with sweat.

So I'll be sucking it up and wearing shorter dresses, no doubt. And I will do this without fear or trepidation, because I have a two-step guide to making my legs look a hell of a lot better. (Note: You should not feel bad about your legs. I just feel bad about mine. Yours are gorgeous.)

Step One: St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. I've experimented with a lot of spray tans; L'Oreal's aerosol is my go-to from the waist up, but usually the spray ends up making the tops of my feet darker than I would like, since a lot of mist is settling down there. So I don't use it on my legs because that'll just make things doubly dark. I always screw up with lotions or gels or wipes, but I love this mousse. It is awesomely easy to spread, particularly if you spend the extra $6 and get the application mitt. The stuff is featherlight — as mousse is wont to be — and the mitt makes it pretty easy to evenly distribute the foam. There's a bronzer included so you can kind of see what you're doing, but if you just keep smearing that mitt all over the damn place, over and over and thoroughly, you'll be ok. It dries in about a minute; I recommend using it before you head out for the day when you're wearing a skirt so that the bronzer doesn't smear on your sheets or anything. But you're fine wearing it under jeans; just try not to get too sweaty. You know, the usual rules of self-tanning (and I refuse to get worked up about reports of possible cancer links because everything gives you cancer. I'll stop when they give me a definitive ruling on the matter).

Step Two: Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. I feel a little weird endorsing makeup on one's legs but this stuff is, for me, confidence in a bottle. It doesn't completely mask your skin or make you look plastic-y or painted; it just kind of smoothes things out, like the world's sheerest pantyhose. But better. It doesn't hide my veins, it just…diffuses their appearance, if that makes sense. If you normally moisturize your legs, do that first and wait until you are completely dry. Then spray the product in your hand, rub it on your legs, and repeat. I advise doing this near a mirror; spreading it evenly can be tricky and I usually need a couple of rounds on each leg. But even then process only takes a minute, and once you've got it on this shit does not come off. Not on your sheets, not on your clothes — you're going to have to take a washcloth to your legs in the shower the next day. The smell at first is not particularly lovely, but it fades in 5 minutes. Airbrush also comes in multiple shades (if any ladies of color have tried the stuff, please speak up in the comments); I go with the "light glow" shade until I'm more deeply tanned, then I step it up to "medium glow." And yes, you do kind of glow. (Just be careful not to go too dark, or you'll look like a self-tanning disaster. Which you are not, provided you used the St. Tropez mousse.)

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $30.00 at Beauty.com.
St. Tropez Applicator Mitt, $6.00 at Beauty.com.
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, $11.79 at Target.

Worth It only features things we paid for ourselves and actually like. Don't send us stuff.